London, and Airplanes, and Indian Food. . .Oh My!

Little boy licking lips and thinking "I came, I conquered, I ate, I enjoyed it!"

Victory at a Indian restaurant

For months I have been looking forward to going to London this May.  Actually, I have been waiting to go to England ever since my father read my sisters and I The Chronicles of Narnia.  So I was thrilled to be able to leave finally on the 20th of May.

Well, thrilled and terrified.   After all, I have never been overseas.  Only twice have I left the United States and that was to go to Canada.  Although I enjoyed my stays in the northern country, it was not quite the same as embarking on a journey across the ocean.

However, I fought this entire year against the odds to get here.  Turning my whole life around, I began to take care of myself, eat more of my meal plan, and do school part-time so that I could be in treatment.  As I grew stronger mentally, physically, and emotionally, my doctors and family began to believe in me although they still worried.  Eager to go with my school for summer credits, I fundraised and continued to fight for my future.  This would be my first trip without family and I was ready to claim my independence.  Finally, everything was in place to go in April.

Then everything fell apart.  My school decided I had been in treatment (the same treatment I began to prepare for the trip) too close to my departure date.  Thus I was kicked off my dream journey.

To say that I was devastated would be an understatement.  What would I do now that my dream had been crushed?  Everything that I had worked for was yanked away from me.  Was all of my work for nothing?

No!  I refused to give up and continued to fight for my dream.  So here I am today typing from a hotel in London.  This isn’t the way that I had hoped for; my mother is with me and I am not with my fellow college students.  Yet I am so thankful for what I have and am eager to continue on with this amazing trip!

Today, I braved riding onto an airplane next to an unknown English boy who I actually engaged in conversation, finding our shuttle from the airport, walking about in public in pants, and adjusting to a time change.  And I was able to eat almost normally both in the plane and hotel!

Best of all, though, was supper.  My mother and I walked up and down the streets.  All of the brick houses with budding trees and iron gates are so lovely!  Anyway, we stopped at a few different places trying to find the right one to eat at.  Finally we chose a little Indian restaurant.  There was just a slight problem: neither my mother or I could understand any part of the menu.

Luckily, the owner came over and explained everything to us.  She was a lovely older woman dressed in a bright pink sari.  Everything she did seemed to radiant wisdom, graciousness, and joy.  Finally, I decide upon a meal and ordered it.  And guess what?  I ate it in the restaurant.  Better yet, I enjoyed it!  In fact, I liked it so much that I told the owner and waiter.  Instead of feeling shameful, I felt warm from the care shown to me, educated in a new culture, and wise to the beauty of others.

In fact, I asked the owner to help me in my new project.  Starting here in England, I am researching what people believe defines beauty.  So I interviewed the restaurant owner and another woman about this.  I was so blessed and excited that they imparted their opinions with me.  Soon I will start posting about my findings in this project that I am doing.

Anyway, today I was able to face a lot of challenges and actually enjoy myself!  I don’t know when I last did that.  So my encouragement to all of you is to push yourself just a bit out of your comfort zone every day.  You never know what great things you may discover if you only take the time to dare.


8 thoughts on “London, and Airplanes, and Indian Food. . .Oh My!

  1. Taylor says:

    Wow Anna Rose!

    What courage you have. Taking to a complete stranger. When I first meet you, you would have never done that! I am so proud if you!! Sounds like you had a great first day. I am also so proud of for eating your food in the restaurant. When I meet you, you would go and hide and eat your food someone else. I am just so proud of you!! You have come so far!

  2. Mary Kratz says:

    Good job Anna Rose! Keep it up!! Remember, its not just you. Its you and God.

  3. Mary Meeds says:

    Wonderful posting – very well stated about the woman in the Indian restaurant.Love,Mom We can do no great things: We can only do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

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